Katy Linley works at Good News Hospital in Mandritsara on the island of Madagascar. One of her’s and husband Mat’s recent prayer letters gives us a glimpse into some of the challenges that she faces in her work.
Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world, and occurs in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South America and south Asia. It is caused by a parasite that gets transmitted by mosquito bites and infects the liver and red blood cells.
Malnutrition and malaria were the themes of the spring for Katy in her work at the hospital. After three years of relatively few cases of malaria there was an upsurge around Easter; apparently also in other areas of Madagascar. We have been seeing people of all ages with malaria each day, but it is often the very youngest who are most severely affected and we have had several deaths over the last few months. We have great medication which kills the parasite effectively but sometimes the damage already done is too great.
The last few months were also the time of year when we see more malnutrition than usual and this year has been no exception with a number of extremely distressing cases. The government feeding centre in town is shut and so Katy is often busy making up special milk feeds for the most severe cases, using some of the cereal flours produced by the community health team. It is very hard to treat severe malnutrition, but the staff on the medical ward are doing a great job with the intensive feeding and care as well as spending time with the parents talking about good nutrition.
It can be very hard when we see these children suffer and sometimes die but we pray that, like for all patients and families who pass through the hospital, they would understand more of Jesus through the care they are shown and the words they hear.